WITH Forthsky Padrigao and Josh Lazaro committing to the Ateneo Blue Eagles, will Lebron Lopez follow suit?
His peers would surely love for that to happen, although both recent commits say that they won't pressure their Blue Eaglet teammate to make such rash decision.
"Hindi ko siya pipilitin," said Padrigao. "Sasabihin ko lang sa kanya kung ano yung makakatulong sa iyo at sa pamilya mo, doon ka pumunta. Ayoko pilitin yung mga bagay na makakatulong sa isang tao."
Lazaro added: "Syempre kasi may pinagsamahan kami, naging teammates kami for one year, puwedeng maging two if matutuloy yung Season 83. So gugustuhin mo yung nakasama mo na ng high school hanggang sa college. Pero hindi naman necessarily na iko-convince ko siya kasi alam naman niya yung pros if he stays in Ateneo or mag-abroad siya. He is mature na nga and he can decide for himself."
Lopez recently chose to stay put in Ateneo, shelving plans to train overseas as he wanted to get his high school diploma first.
He still has two years left in his juniors career, while Padrigao and Lazaro have one more year left before they can play for the seniors team come UAAP Season 84.
If Lopez decides to stay in Ateneo for college, he can make his debut with the Blue Eagles in UAAP Season 85.
Surprising as the move was, Padrigao and Lazaro commended the mature decision that the Fil-Angolan high-flyer had to remain in Katipunan.
"Nakaka-proud lang kasi he's thinking long-term at hindi lang siya naka-focus sa basketball. Hearing that from someone as young as him, nakaka-proud na ganun siya mag-isip," said Lazaro.
"For me, it was a good move. Tama yung sinabi niya na gusto niya muna ng diploma which is a good decision naman talaga," said Padrigao.
"Also, may binanggit siya na yung the best power is intelligence. Coming from him, nagulat ako na, 'Wow! Ganito pala mag-isip si Lebron.' Kumbaga nagma-mature na siya. I was surprised, at may bubuga pala yung bata namin dito."